Closing arguments in Estella murder trial

Closing arguments got under way Friday in the murder
trial of Larry Ricketts and Kirkland Henry, who are accused of killing Cable
and Wireless Communications Manager Estella Scott Roberts in 2008.

Larry Prinston Ricketts continued
giving evidence on Thursday, denying he had anything to do with the abduction, rape, robbery and murder of Estella Scott
Roberts in October 2008.

Asked about a bank card and phone that
linked him to the crimes, he said his contact with the items was through Kirkland
Henry, his co-accused.

Before the trial for murder got
underway on 1 February, Henry admitted his involvement in everything except
murder, naming Ricketts as the person who killed Estella.

Ricketts has pleaded not guilty to
everything. He signed an interview in which admissions were made, but told the
court the police had made up those answers.

He agreed he was seen on closed
circuit television trying to use a bank card at an ATM machine around 6.30am on
Saturday, 11 October 2008. That was just hours after Estella left her friends
outside a restaurant where they had celebrated her birthday and they never saw
or heard from her again.

Ricketts told the court that he met
up with Henry by chance when he was going to work and he agreed to assist
Henry, who told him he found the card and did not know how to use it.

He was questioned by Ian Bourne QC,
who represents Henry, and by Solicitor General Cheryll Richards QC on behalf of
the Crown.

Ricketts was asked why the bank
camera showed him at the ATM machine and not Henry if he was supposed to be
assisting Henry. Ricketts said Henry stayed on the road by his bicycle. He acknowledged
being the one who decided how much money to try to get from the ATM.

He said there was no urgency about
getting the money, but agreed with Ms Richards he was trying to get it as soon
as possible. “Before it would be known that the card was found?” she asked.

“Not really. Not like that,”
Ricketts replied.

He maintained he had met Henry and
was trying to assist him. When he saw the news about the killing on Monday
night, he kind of thought the name on the bank card was similar to the name on
the news. But he never knew where Henry got the card from.

He admitted there would have been
some money in it for him if his attempts to use the card had been successful.
“So that means you will engage in wrong-doing when it benefits you?” she asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” he replied, but went
on to deny being with Henry on the Friday night, 10 October.

Later on Saturday, 11 October, Ricketts
went to Henry’s residence. He said Henry had two Blackberry phones and offered
to sell him one, so he bought it for $200.

Mr. Bourne noted that when police
searched Ricketts’ residence, they found the Blackberry in a shirt pocket and
its battery elsewhere. He asked Ricketts why he had separated them.

“No reason,” Ricketts replied.

Mr. Bourne suggested it was because
he didn’t want the phone traced because he knew where it had come from.
Ricketts denied that..

Mr. Bourne asked when Ricketts first
learned that Estella had been murdered. Ricketts said Saturday, but he never
really recalled the name of the person.

He said the other workers on the
job site were talking about a vehicle burnt out was found in the Barkers area
and someone was in it. He said he left work at 1pm.

It was pointed out that no report
of the vehicle being found was made until after 12 noon. Ricketts said he
couldn’t recall if his co-workers were talking about it that Saturday or on
Monday.

Ricketts was also asked about a
phone call he received from Henry at 2am on Saturday, 11 October. He said he
was home asleep when the phone rang. When he woke up at 5.30am he checked and
saw the call was from Henry.

Mr. Bourne wondered whether Ricketts
had then asked Henry, when he met him by chance shortly after, why Henry had
called. Ricketts said he didn’t ask.

Mr. Bourne said Ricketts didn’t ask
because he knew. He suggested that Ricketts and Henry had been together when
Ricketts parked Estella’s car on a dead-end dyke road. He suggested it was 2am
when Ricketts was trying to get a fire going in the vehicle and Henry left the
scene by climbing over a fence into property known as The Shores development.

Mr. Bourne said Henry phoned
Ricketts to say “What’s going on? Come now!” Ricketts answered those
suggestions by repeating, “No, sir.”

Re-examined by his own counsel,
Robert Fortune QC, Ricketts said when he signed his interview with police he
did not read it in detail word for word because he had been told he was
assisting them with their inquiries.

Ms Richards summed up the case
against both defendants on Thursday afternoon. Mr. Bourne and Mr. Fortune were
expected to complete their closing speeches by the end of Friday.

Chief Justice Anthony Smellie would
then adjourn court until he was ready to announce his verdict, as he is hearing
the matter without a jury.

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